How I Hired My First Account Executive for My Startup

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg

I needed to hire my first account executive for my startup. Because I knew I couldn’t do it all by myself. I had a potential candidate in mind. But I don’t have his contact number. Fortunately, there’s Facebook and we exchanged messages.

Long story short, we met the next day. And he agreed to be on board. Why him?

The game fowl industry is a niche market. With my almost seven years experience in the industry, I know how hard it is to find the right person for the right job.

An ideal candidate for a job should have an in-depth knowledge about game fowl. Here are some scenarios:

* Breeders could sense whether an interviewer is involved with game fowl or not.
* Company representatives prefer to deal with account executives who are into game fowl.

The point is, there’s a big difference between a candidate who’s involved with game fowl and who’s not.

Of course, everything can be learned but it’ll take some time. But instead of going through a typical hiring process, I decided to contact the person who I think already possess the qualities of an account executive I’m looking for. I couldn’t emphasize more the importance of one’s network when it comes to hiring. It’s economical, fast and low risk.

For the first week of us working together, I’ve learned a lot more than I could from books. I was like on an on-the-job training. Some of my takeaways:

* I had to make major changes on the media kit I prepared.
* I had to improve the layout of the press kit and added more info.
* I had to revise my proposal letter for potential clients who don’t have the luxury of time to read.

And the learning continues…

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

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